Cari Rincker: From Illinois Farm Girl to New York City Lawyer

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Food. Farm. Family.

For many young people growing up in farms across the United States, New York City is only somewhere they see in the movies. They’ve seen the skyscrapers on TV, watched the New Year’s ball drop, and heard of movie stars moving to the “big city” to make it big. But, chances are, not many farm kids ever dream of leaving the farm and moving to NYC.

But, that’s just what Cari Rincker did.

Cari chased her dreams and is now one of the nation’s most successful agricultural lawyers. And, Ranch House Designs is proud to handle her advertising and web design.

Rincker Law, PLLC, owned by Cari Rincker, is a national general practice law firm based in New York concentrating in food, farm and family. Cari was raised on a seedstock Simmental cattle operation in Shelbyville, Illinois. She grew up showing cattle in 4-H and FFA at both local and national levels. The transition from rural Illinois to an office in Manhattan may sound a little daunting to some of us, but the endless opportunities in New York make it easier.

SONY DSC“New Yorkers are friendlier than you think and each neighborhood is its own community with familiar faces,” Rincker said. “One of the hardest things for me was giving up my car! I have many days when I miss wide open spaces and the smell of cattle, but I live by Central Park and try to spend as much time outside as I can.”

Just recently, Rincker has been to PBR at Madison Square Garden, a Broadway show, Little Egypt in Queens, a Knicks game, and a Texas A&M University Alumni Reception with business students. There’s always something going on, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Throughout her time as an undergraduate student at Lake Land College and Texas A&M, Cari was an active member of both livestock and meat animal evaluation teams. While at Lake Land, she was selected as First Place in Oral Reasons at the National Western Stock Show and First Place Overall at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Cari continues to utilize skills learned while judging and knowledge from her studies in her career.

TAMU Business Students in NYC“As a food and agriculture lawyer, I use my undergraduate and graduate degrees all the time,” Rincker said. “Obtaining my A.S. in agriculture from Lake Land College and B.S. in animal science from Texas A & M gave me an invaluable education on the breadth of agriculture and livestock production. My M.S. in Ruminant (Beef Cattle) Nutrition from the University of Illinois strengthened by scientific background and quantitative skills used many of my cases. Most importantly, it gave me the passion that inspired me to go to law school so I could help the people who grow our food.”

A list of well-deserved accolades have been received by Rincker. These include an Outstanding Early Career Award from Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2012),  American Bar Association’s Top 100 Law Blogs “Blawg 100” (2011), Distinguished Alumni, Lake Land College (2011), Best of Barn’s Competition Best Agriculture Lawyer (2012, 2011), and the American Agri-Women Vision Award (2010).

Cari’s Tips for Success

Cari says success in agriculture law and policy starts with networking with people that work in the field.

1508646_10152534356683173_6781252485750729027_n“It’s never too early to start building your rolodex of connections,” Rincker said. “Reach out to people you know and ask if you can buy them a cup of coffee or lunch or speak briefly on the phone. Use this opportunity as a time to ask questions about what he or she does and learn more about their career.”

Getting experience is extremely important, as well. Cari’s first glimpse into agriculture law and policy came after being selected to participate in the Congressional Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy Internship Program while she was a student at Texas A&M.

“Although I had flirted with the idea of going to law school, it was this experience that strengthened my passion for law and policy,” Rincker said. “Practicing law is very different than what you see on “The Good Wife” and “Law and Order.” Try to get as much exposure to you can to law firms, policy makers and lobbying arms to agriculture organizations at the state or national level.”

Her last piece of advice is to do well in school, and pay attention to what your GPA looks like.

“Law schools and graduate policy programs don’t focus so much on your major or what classes you took, but they are looking for smart, hard-working students that have done generally well in undergraduate classes,” Rincker said. “You don’t have to be a straight A student to get into law school but you need to have a solid GPA.  If you are struggling in certain classes, don’t be afraid to hire a tutor!”


“I was very thankful to Ranch House Designs, Inc. for help jump starting my law practice,” Rincker said. “My website and marketing materials gave me a noticeable, slick brand from Day 1.”

We have greatly enjoyed working with Cari to create a complete brand look for her business. Our projects have included her website, business cards, letterhead, brochures, book covers, and advertisements.We enjoy working with clients like Rincker Law to serve as their one stop for their design needs. If you would like to learn more about working with Ranch House Designs, please complete our free project quote to get started.